Police search for jewelry store burglars in San Rafael

Bay Area

SAN RAFAEL (KRON) – A warning to Bay Area jewelry stores after San Rafael police release security footage of a jewelry store smash and grab.

Police are reminding stores to keep their display cases empty overnight.

There have been about a handful of these thefts across the Bay Area and police say not only do they have the same MO, but they’re also calling the thefts very sophisticated.

The most recent one happened at the Villa Jewelers on Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael.

The owners say this has been a big unexpected expense for them, especially being a small, family-owned business.

It was just after 3 a.m. on June 23 when a group of four men repeatedly smashed through the glass front door of Villa Jewelers.

Once inside, the men wearing ski masks and hoodies used hammers to shatter just about every display case.

Most of the store’s merchandise had been put away so the thieves didn’t get away with much, but the owners say the cost of replacing all the glass isn’t cheap — $1,000 alone just to fix the front door.

On Tuesday, at least one display case was still sitting empty.

Local artist, Meeshka, is co-owner of another jewelry store just a few shops down.

She says crimes like this are very upsetting.

“We’re all small business owners on this street, not only is it emotionally upsetting it takes a big toll on the business financially,” Meeshka said.

San Rafael police say this burglary may be linked to several others in the area.

“There is 4 or 5 in the Bay Area that have the same MO same time of day and manner of entry. We haven’t linked them up exactly yet but based on what we know they’re probably linked,” Lieutenant Dan Fink said.

Meeshka says knowing the group is still out there has she and her fellow co-owners discussing how not to fall victim.

“This was a topic of our meeting and we discussed other options of changes we might make and what we might do to prevent this from happening to us,” Meeshka said.

Villa Jewelers is taking that warning from police seriously by removing all items from their display cases overnight.

Police say the group that broke in did flee the scene in gold Mercedes, so if anyone has information, they should contact San Rafael PD.

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